In a previous article, it was covered that rumors were spread of the move of Worlds from China to Europe. However, as of August 24, Riot Games has confirmed this via their @lolesports Twitter. Worlds 2021 has been confirmed to move to Europe, instead of China.
Earlier today, John Needham, the Global Head of Esports at Riot, confirmed that Worlds 2021 would be moved to Europe. He cited the Delta Variant as a major cause for the sudden move. According to him, both Riot and people stationed in China have been working hard to help deliver both Worlds 2020, and Worlds 2021.
Worlds 2020 was a major success, delivering not only an entertaining event, but a safe one for the players as well. According to John, Worlds 2020 sustained 0 infections. With vaccines being delivered all around the world, the team had assumed that normality would return in 2021. Sadly, this was not the case, as different variants have started to come out, one of them being the Delta Variant.
Because of the Delta Variant, travel restrictions, and COVID protocols have changed. This poses an issue with regards to the entrance of teams outside of the host country. That being said, John announced that Riot has made the “tough decision” to move Worlds 2021 from China to Europe. He thanked the 5 cities, as well as the production teams behind it, for helping Riot try and find ways to continue executing Worlds in China.
During the announcement video, John cited how the Summoners Cup was one trophy all the teams worked all year to earn. Months upon months of practice to earn the coveted trophy many players want, but only few can hold. It would be a waste of hard work to simply cancel the event, like what happened with MSI 2020.
The exact cities were not revealed during the video. However, John said that it would be in places where “the highest number of teams” can go to. And with VCT being held in Berlin, many have speculated that Worlds 2021 will be held there as well.